Tue 12th: Rome & The Vatican.
St Peter's in The Vatican is insane. Totally mad. I dunno, maybe it's from being brought up by a mother who loves tacky Christian iconography to the point of near obsession, but the whole thing, while undoubtedly impressive, seems to me to be a bit gaudy, excessive and, well, ridiculous. From the intricacy in detailed decoration covering every surface, the the grandness of paintings, tombs, statues (including one which, Micaela pointed out, looks suspiciously like the Pope lording it over his bitches. Basically a prototype gangster rap album cover.), etc, to the Vatican guards who apparently are members of the Swiss Army or the Swiss Guard, I dunno. They're Swiss. Anyway, they have to dress up like something out of Alice In Wonderland for some reason, wearing a ridiculous costume that looks like full body pantaloons. The colour scheme is bright red, yellow and blue, with a big white collar and black berets and shoes. It's all very big and very impressive and looks incredible, if not a tad silly. Basically, to me it all just looks like the inside of my mothers head, only with less gay men and science-fiction. Or the same amount, depending on your views of Christianity.
Rome has some cool graffiti covered trains, and the Colosseum, which is HUGE. We didn't go in coz the queue was stupidly long, but it's impressive enough from the outside. Rome has loads of old Roman architecture dotted all over the place, making for an absolutely beautiful city.
Wed 13th: Naples & Herculaneum.
At last! A city with flaws! This makes Naples more human in a way. Like yer in an actual city and not a European museum. The downside of this is that it makes it the worst place we go to on the whole cruise. Naples was a dirty, rough little town full of clothes shops, shoe shops
and not a lot else it would seem. Apart from Newsstands that all seem to have bins of cheap dvd's and an unhealthy amount of porn. Oh, and tobacconists that don't sell booze. Europe has a disturbing lack of places to buy booze. Europe needs more off licenses. And music shops. On a half day of looking round shops, there was a distinct lack of variety. Naples is boring. And a bit ugly. While most of the other places felt a little like a museum, I can spend a whole day in a museum or gallery if the exhibits grab me. All the places so far had. Ironically, Micaela, her mum, and a guy called Stuart we were with actually went to a museum instead of coming to Naples, and had a great time. And saw Mormons getting embarrassed by sexual art. Tee hee hee!
In the afternoon we went to Herculaneum - AKA the port town where everyone from Pompeii fled to to try and escape the sudden wrath of Mount Vesuvius. However, many people died there as Herculaneum itself didn't escape MV's wrath and got buried under smog and ash. There's been a big excavation project and a lot of Herculaneum seems to have been very well preserved. Stepping into this ancient town was like stepping into an Asterix book. I've been reading Asterix books since I can remember, so I had a bit of a moment seeing all these Roman columns, mosaics, structures, paintings, etc. It was incredible to walk around this place and see for real things I've admired in cartoon form for years. It made me very happy. It made me smile a childish grin. And there was a statue of Hercules with one hand behind his head and the other on his cock. The tour guide we were following said Hercules was having a piss, but he was blatantly wanking.
Thur 14th: Sea Day.
The first day when we were just on the boat. We went to the on board spa and sat in these heated chairs which are ludicrously relaxing, especially with the view we had. I've never been to a spa before, so it was my first time in a steam room and a sauna. Again, I found the steam room a bizarrely relaxing experience. The sauna was like a dry steam room. I preferred the steam room. Aside from spa stuff, we read, played chess, played bingo, ate food and drank booze. It was a good day.